During E3 earlier this month, fans of White Wolf’s Vampire: the Masquerade got teasers for two upcoming games, an RPG and — more important to this site — a free-to-play battle royale titled Bloodhunt. For a lot of longtime V:TM fans, the latter may seem like an odd choice, and we’re sure you’ve been curious as to how this entire V:TM battle royale thing will work. Today, we got some of those answers.
Earlier this morning, Bloodhunt’s developer Sharkmob hosted a livestream with Sharkmob Co-Founder Martin and Bloodhunt Producer David. During the hour-long stream they discussed everything from where the idea for Bloodhunt originated to how that whole shrinking circle thing will work, to the game’s first Alpha test. We won’t cover everything here. There’s a video for that (that you’ll likely want to watch anyway if you’re interested in the gameplay at all — beginning around the 53 minute mark).
So, lore-wise the game is focused on The Masquerade (and not that other thing that happened somewhere in the mid-2000s that I can never remember the name of). The general idea is that The Masquerade, which has kept the vampire population known as the Camarilla hidden from humans is at risk of being undermined by another faction known as the Anarchs. If it is undermined, a third faction (mortal vampire hunters known as the Second Inquisition) will find all of them and destroy them. So, the best bet is to eliminate the Anarchs before that happens. The thing is that since this is a battle royale and therefore a fight to the last man standing, lore-wise, whoever is still standing at the end are the surviving Camarilla vampires, the Masquerade has been saved, and the Second Inquisition has been stopped. This means that literally everyone else was the Anarchs. So, for game purposes, everyone considers themselves to be Camarilla and everyone (aside from maybe their team) Anarchs by default.
As for the shrinking circle. No. It’s not the sun. That won’t work for a variety of reasons. So, instead, a subfaction of the Second Inquisition known as The Entity have created a special — non-human-harming — gas that they can flood the city with, driving the vampires together and making them easier to kill.
Speaking of the city, the game takes place in Prague and the devs have made use of every inch of the map, including the sides of buildings and rooftops. You’re vampires, of course you can leap up buildings. So, there’s plenty of parkourish combat taking place, and some players will be able to try it out this weekend in the Alpha. In fact, they gave some keys for this out during the stream — or will be distributing them via Twitch, but the winners have already been chosen. If you didn’t get a key that way, they’re also offering them to people who sign up for their newsletter.
— Bloodhunt (@Bloodhunt) June 29, 2021
The alpha kicks off on July 2nd, but those hoping to get a jump on things can preload the game on the first. Just be sure you have 20 GB free. This will be a technical test, and there will be features missing or half-finished — like progression and customization. Gamepad functionality will be available but not finalized, and unfortunately, you won’t be able to group with friends. On the upside, there’s no NDA.
As for the things you can expect, it will be open to players on servers in North America, Europe, and Asia. During the beta, players will be able to choose from one of three clans: Brujah, Nosferatu, or Toreador. Ventrue is on the way, but won’t be available during testing. More details about the Alpha can be found in the FAQ on the game’s site.
Other things of note are that players can expect some in-game events similar to what’s common in existing battle royales. On the narrative end of things, the devs have created a social hub based on the TTRPG’s Elisium, a no-fighting zone for vampires — where players can go to learn the story and hang out without fear of death.